Despite all Type 45 Destroyers being in Portsmouth, apart from HMS Dauntless, all the of the vessels are in their normal operating cycle.

HMS Diamond is currently hosting a ‘family day’ and has been at sea recently.

It is also understood that HMS Defender recently limped home from deployment on one engine, according to several personnel we’ve spoken to.

While a full remedy for their well known mechanical issues is being worked on and the vessel will eventually return to operations, currently a partial fix for the propulsion system has been put in place on most vessels.

The information comes from @NavyLookout on twitter, more can be found at savetheroyalnavy.org

The Type 45 destroyers are primarily designed for anti-air warfare with the capability to defend against sophisticated targets such as fighter aircraft, drones as well as highly manoeuvrable sea skimming anti-ship missiles travelling at supersonic speeds.

The Royal Navy describes the destroyers’ mission as being “to shield the Fleet from air attack”.

The engineering problems with the Type 45’s has been no secret, it was even addressed in the November 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, which stated funding is to be made available for:

“A Type 45 machinery improvement package to deliver the most modern AAW and BMD platform in the world more reliably”.

It is understood that the ships will have to be refitted at a cost of tens of millions of pounds.

The Type 45s were the first complex warships to employ an integrated full electric propulsion, which uses gas turbines and diesel generators to power electric motors, which turn the propellers.

Problems with the system emerged during shore testing in 2005 and have been denting reliability of the destroyers ever since, with many having to cancel port visits, deployments and even come home early.

The Ministry of Defence had this to say:

“The Type 45 destroyers are hugely capable ships and have consistently made a difference to our safety and security, including HMS Defender’s support to US carrier operations against Daesh in the Gulf.

In our defence review last year we committed to improving the Type 45’s power and propulsion system through a series of machinery upgrades during planned maintenance, which will ensure increased availability and resilience over the life of the ships.”

HMS Ducan in drydock this evening. Copyright UK Defence Journal 2016 via Marcus Cribb.
HMS Ducan in drydock this evening. Copyright UK Defence Journal 2016.

It’s no secret that Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dauntless has endured the most issues relating to the widely reported propulsion issues currently found in the Type 45 Destroyers.

A parliamentary written question has confirmed what many have feared, that the vessel will not be leaving Portsmouth for some time.

Asked by Douglas Chapman (MP for Dunfermline and West Fife)

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether HMS Dauntless is being used as a harbour training and accommodation ship.”

Answered by Philip Dunne (then Minister of State for Defence Procurement)

“The introduction of Engineering Training Ships is an important component of the Royal Navy’s comprehensive programme to improve training and career development opportunities by increasing training capacity.

Ships in the operating cycle immediately ahead of refit will be used to deliver training alongside home Bases and Ports. HMS DAUNTLESS entered this profile in February this year.”

A reduced Ship’s Company reside on board as normal, augmented by trainees who use the opportunity to gain experience through development activities in a realistic environment.”

HMS Dauntless is the second ship of the Type 45 or Daring-class air-defence destroyers built for the Royal Navy.

One of the most controversial of her, until recently, frequent deploys was in January 2012, when it was announced that Dauntless would deploy to the South Atlantic to replace HMS Montrose which was stationed around the Falkland Islands. The deployment was condemned by the government of Argentina, which claimed that the UK was “militarising the South Atlantic”, despite the replacement representing only a modest increase in fighting capacity.

In 2015, Dauntless re-sailed for the Middle East after a short delay, with a plan to take part in the centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign. She conducted anti-piracy patrols, as well as escorting US Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

While a remedy is being worked on and the vessel will eventually return to operations, this will not be for a few years yet.

 

51 COMMENTS

  1. Are they going to have worked out the details of the long term fix in time to get it done for HMS Duncan during this refit? Given that she’s in dry dock right now it would certainly seem to make sense from a cost and logistics point of view. It would also give as much time as possible to test the new fix on a deployment or two before going ahead and doing the others.

  2. We need to get a grip we need these ships fully operational. You never know what is going to happen especially with the continued Russian aggression

  3. These occurring problems are because everything the UK defence has to be done on the cheap and scattered around the world to be built should all be built in Britain and not script on

  4. At least Portsmouth Harbour has good air cover if under air attack, if the ships are plugged into the mains electricity. If it was not so serious,if would be funny.

    • Would have been easier to stay with the Hotizon project.

      Decent hull/engines, then tweak the weapons/sensor fit.

      The main difference between Horizon and Type 45 is Sampson – oh yes, and they can actually deploy

  5. Right now we have no real need for them, but we do have a huge recruitment problem with the navy, so makes sense for them to be home for a while.

    The real concern is what if we do need them and in turn just how serious this engine problem is. We read it can be fixed quickily when it happens, but there isn’t much time between detecting an incoming missile towards any vessels they are escorting and needing to react.

    Let’s hope they can fix this issue before any major issues around the world hit.

    • Unfortunately the Type 45 capabilities cannot be turned on and off as required.

      Politicians make the same mistake. A warship is only as capable as the crew/weapon fit. Giving them a ‘how to fight with a 45’ manual and sending them on their way is not how its done

  6. Have any of you yet realised that they’re probably all in port now because it’s the start of the school holidays. Crew retention is a big issue for the RN.

    • To be fair labour didn’t design and build these piles of shit. Like most governments the contract was put out to the lowest bidder. Then realisation that cutting corners in the short term leads to higher costs later starts to hit home.

      • Governments don’t think long term. They think either what will it cost now, future costs are put down to who cares its the next governments problem.

        It was one of the advantages of the old house of lords, in that they could think more long term and challenge the MPs where the long term doesn’t add up and create a debate.

  7. If they get the fix right the 45 is a cracking ship and will fit in well with our future ships to come I do agree however that if we were going to build these ships it should never have gone or ever again go to the lowest bidder our security is worth more than that

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here